Branding Trends for 2021
What comes to mind when you see a checkmark illustration on a banner or billboard? The first thing you might think of is Nike’s logo.
Or when you see a white cursive writing on a red background? Exactly, Coca-Cola.
What makes us able to relate certain visual characteristics to certain brands? This can happen because these companies have strong and attractive branding that makes it easier for people to remember their brands.
So, what is branding actually?
The Branding Journal defines branding as the process of giving meaning to a company, product, or service by creating and shaping brand values in the memories of customers.
Branding is also a strategy designed by companies to help people quickly identify their products and organization, and to give the audience a reason to prefer the company's products over their competitors.
Why do you need proper branding for your product?
Branding can change how people perceive your brand, it can drive new business and increase brand awareness. With proper branding for your product, you can gain valuable benefits such as:
1. Increase Business Values
Branding is important when trying to generate future business, and a strongly established brand can increase a business’ value by giving the company more leverage in the industry.
This makes the business seem more appealing in the eyes of the investors because it already has an established position in the marketplace.
2. Generate New Customers
Strong branding generally means that there is a positive impression of the company amongst consumers, and they are likely to do business with you because of the familiarity and assumed dependability of using a name they can trust.
Once a brand has been well-established, word of mouth will be the company’s best and most effective advertising technique.
3. Supports Advertisements
Advertising is another component of branding, and advertising strategies will directly reflect the brand and its desired portrayal.
Advertising techniques like the use of promotional products from trusted companies (Outstanding Branding) make it easy to create a cohesive and appealing advertising strategy that plays well into your branding goals.
The branding trends that once looked modern and cutting-edge suddenly become stale and old-fashioned. To stay relevant in the eyes of your audience in the new year, you need to incorporate the top brand design trends of 2021.
7 creative branding trends for 2021
1. Put a face to the brand
Revealing the human side of your brand is probably more important now than ever. If it’s one thing humans like to see, it’s other humans—especially in social media posts.
After all, faces humanize a brand very well, and a lot of branding trends in 2021 lean towards this overall humanization.
But, of course, you cannot simply choose a random face. When it comes to selecting a celebrity to represent your brand, there has to be a strong association between the product and the person.
2. Use quirky art
Using funny or whimsical art is a great path to brand memorability and recognition, especially if you’re targeting younger markets.
You would want your branding materials to display a distinguishing uniqueness—the quirky factor. Don’t be afraid to experiment, feel free to try an offbeat style if that suits your brand personality.
3. Embrace expressionist brand colors
Traditional branding posits that simple, consistent color schemes are best because consumers learn to associate your brand with its key colors.
For example, the color red in McDonald’s logo is stimulating and is associated with being active. It also increases heart rate, which jumpstarts your appetite.
The color yellow is associated with happiness and is the most visible color in daylight, so that’s why a McDonald’s logo is so easy to spot even from afar.
4. Stand for a cause
For younger markets like Gen Z and Millenials, consumers expect the brands they follow to take a stance, whether societal, environmental, or economical.
Try to reflect your stance in your branding materials so people know what you’re about. Talking about it on social media or collaborating with a popular figure in your movement.
Your branding design, too, should echo your stance, for example, featuring green and environmental imagery in your logo and on your website, or using photos to demonstrate your activism.
5. Extend your brand with geometric patterns
One of the more surprising 2021 branding trends is using patterns as an extension of your brand: large blocks of repeated graphics to create a hypnotizing wallpaper look.
Just to be clear, patterns aren’t replacing logos or main images. But in the right spot, like an ad, t-shirt, swag bag, web page background, or printed menu — patterns can take your brand experience so much further.
6. Make it rough on purpose
For certain audiences, perfection is flawed. More than a few consumers prefer a look that’s rough around the edges: asymmetry, scribbled writing, and disproportionate imagery.
Intentionally imperfect brand design, usually combined with illustrations and handwritten typography, resonates well with younger, more counter-cultural audiences (just like the quirky trend above).
This branding trend originates as a response to the pixel-perfect brand design from the past with no hair out of place—for many people, that kind of perfection nowadays comes across as suspicious.
7. Create an immersive experience
Due to the increasing amount of online purchases, the unboxing experience is now more crucial than ever.
In 2021, brands and designers think through the entire process of opening a package and make it a unique experience by ensuring that even the smallest detail is on brand and captivates the customer as they open the box and unwrap their products.
People expect to receive not only a well-designed product, they expect you to take them on a journey. If you want to go the extra mile and really wow them, give them an experience.